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Illinois Hires Private-Sector Veteran to Fill CISO Role

Jason Bowen, an Army veteran who previously worked as a senior security executive for a private-sector consulting firm, has been hired as the state’s new chief information security officer to replace Adam Ford.

Illinois state Capitol, permission: K. Lonbom
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with a comment from state CIO Sanjay Gupta, the Department of Innovation and Technology’s acting secretary.

Illinois has hired a new chief information security officer to lead the state’s cybersecurity initiatives.

The Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) announced the hiring of Jason Bowen in a LinkedIn post Thursday, writing, “We are thrilled to have him on board at DoIT as our state CISO, and we look forward to seeing all that he accomplishes here.”
According to his LinkedIn profile, Bowen is an Army veteran who has worked in security in the private sector for nearly 25 years. He most recently worked as managing director for security and privacy consulting firm Protiviti.

“Throughout my career, I have driven sustainable change by designing and implementing simplified and sustainable security controls to manage risk and reduce 100 percent of in-scope regulatory compliance deficiencies and audit findings,” reads Bowen’s LinkedIn profile. “In partnership with client organizations, I wrote incident response and other emergency management plans, led incident response tabletop exercises and assisted in the recovery of environments post-breach. These activities combined with other recommendations allowed clients to recover from security incidents expeditiously, efficiently and effectively, enabling them to avoid paying ransoms and maintain business operations during incidents.”

Bowen was chosen for the role in part for his extensive private sector cybersecurity background, state CIO Sanjay Gupta, DoIT’s acting secretary, said via email.

“Jason’s expertise lies in driving sustainable change by implementing security controls to manage risk while reducing regulatory compliance deficiencies,” Gupta said. “Throughout his career, he has demonstrated an ability to collaborate with technology and business stakeholders to effectively manage security challenges and achieve strong outcomes.”

The state’s CISO role was previously filled by Adam Ford, who left the position in early 2024 for a new role in cloud security. Ford was recognized by NASCIO as the recipient of the 2023 Thomas M. Jarrett State Cybersecurity Leadership Award.